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Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Gillian Bevan (Cymbeline); Bethan Cullinane (Imogen); Hiran Abeysekera (Posthumus); Doreene Blackstock (Cornelia); Marcus Griffiths (Cloten); Oliver Johnstone (Iachimo); Kelly Williams (Pisanio); Graham Turner (Belarius); Natalie Simpson (Guideria); James Cooney (Arviragus); Byron Mondahl (Philario); Eke Chukwu (Caius Lucius);

"It’s the strength of the performances that really make this production, and the cast's ability to draw out the underlying humour in every situation goes a long way to negating the flaws in the original text. Oliver Johnstone is brilliant as the suave, silver-tongued Iachimo, strutting about the stage and wearing all of his sexual potency on his sleeve. Some of the best scenes come when he focuses his scheming charm on the faithful Innogen, skilfully played by Bethan Cullinane. Marcus Griffith also manages to find much comic absurdity in the overblown ego of the otherwise contemptible Cloten. But these are compelling performances among many. It may not be one of the best-loved of the Bard’s canon, but this production is full of passion and humour, and is riotous fun." (The Radio Times)

Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Josette Simon (Cleopatra); Antony Byrne (Mark Antony); David Burnett (Pompey); James Corrigan (Agrippa); Ben Allen (Octavius Caesar); Andrew Woodall (Enobarbus); Patrick Drury (Lepidus); David Burnett (Pompey); Lucy Phelps (Octavia); Kristin Atherton (Iras); Paul Dodds (Menas); Aleed Elgadi (Alexas);

"Richly textured, with big saucy acting... Antony Byrne is the alpha male we’ve been looking for... Josette Simon’s historic Queen of the Nile epitomizes Iqbal Khan’s deluxe production... a lavish production – aided by Laura Mvula’s seductive score." (The Daily Mail ★★★★)

Shakespeare: As You Like It (Shakespeare's Globe)

Shakespeare: As You Like It (Shakespeare's Globe)

Naomi Frederick (Rosalind); Jack Laskey (Orlando); Dominic Rowan (Touchstone); Tim McMullan (Jaques);

"Naomi Frederick's superb Rosalind is a woman of wit and intelligence...Laskey's Orlando is equally bewitched, bothered and bewildered, and the playfulness between the two is a pleasure." (The Guardian)

Shakespeare: Coriolanus (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Shakespeare: Coriolanus (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Sope Dirisu (Coriolanus); James Corrigan (Aufidius); Paul Jesson (Menenius); Haydn Gwynne (Volumnia); Charles Aitken (Cominius); Ben Hall (Titus Lartius); Martina Laird (Junius Brutus); Hannah Morrish (Virgilia); Katherine Toy (Valeria);

"Strongly performed modern reframing of one of Shakespeare’s most political plays Dirisu is a formidable stage-filling presence striking visual moments strong support from Haydn Gwynne as his [Coriolanus'] intelligent, ambitious mother Volumnia and James Corrigan’s Aufidius, who reveals unexpected levels of affection and warmth towards Coriolanus that serve to make the ending all the more powerful." (The Stage)

Shakespeare: Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Shakespeare: Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Paapa Essiedu (Hamlet); Marcus Griffiths (Laertes); Cyril Nri (Polonius); Natalie Simpson (Ophelia); Clarence Smith (Claudius); Tanya Moodie (Gertrude); Hiran Abeysekera (Horatio); James Clooney (Rosencrantz); Bethan Cullinane (Guildenstern); Theo Ogundipe (Marcellus/Lucianus/Fortinbras); Ewart James Walters (Ghost/Gravedigger); Eke Chukwu (Voltemand);

"It is an utterly engaging performance by Paapa Essiedu." (The Times ★★★★)

Shakespeare: Henry IV Part I & II Special Edition (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Shakespeare: Henry IV Part I & II Special Edition (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Jasper Britton (King Henry IV (I & II)); Antony Sher (Sir John Falstaff (I & II)); Alex Hassell (Prince Hal (I & II)); Paola Dionisotti (Mistress Quickly (I & II)); Trevor White (Hotspur (I)); Joshua Richards (Bardolph (I & II)/Owen Glendower (I)); Oliver Ford Davies (Justice Shallow (II)); Jim Hooper (Justice Silence (II)); Martin Bassindale (Peto (I)); Antony Byrne (Pistol (II)); Sam Marks (Ned Poins (I)); Nia Gwynne (Doll Tearsheet (II));

"Shakespeare's two greatest plays have always been a defining experience for RSC directors. Gregory Doran now puts his decisive seal on the company by offering a production that, like last year's Richard II, combines richness of texture with psychological insight. It also contains a major performance from Antony Sher as Falstaff." (The Guardian ★★★★)